Click above for a high-res gallery of the Kia Soul'ster

The Kia Soul has people talking. Specifically, you. Kia's media presentation here in Detroit highlighted feedback from the Autoblog commentariat. No, we didn't know in advance, but you won't hear us complaining either. However, the star of the show for Kia wasn't the Soul -- it's a new concept derived from the boxy people-mover.

After some dancing fanfare involving large placards, the Kia Soul'ster drove onstage. Put simply, it's cool. The two-door design study looks like a pickup from the side, but the "cab" is open-air, much like the old Isuzu Amigo. Pretty much everything on the car is manual: the gearbox, the window cranks, and the two-piece canvas roof. Other details set it apart from its wagonoid brother, such as a slightly chopped roofline and dual exhausts with carbon fiber sleeves. The roof lamps integrated into the roll bars are a nice touch, too. Cantilevered seats mounted off the center console free up storage room beneath them, and there's a small cargo space aft of the second row. The Soul'ster's meant to be an economical four-cylinder, tarmac-only, front-wheel-drive plaything whose primary mission is fun. It sure looks the part, so now the ball's in Kia's court. Do they have the stones to actually follow through and build something like this? Tell them what you think below. One thng's certain: they'll be reading.

Photos copyright ©2009 Alex Núñez / Weblogs, Inc.

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